.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Sharon is happy with Abbas, FM says cease-fire is a "ticking bomb"

I wouldn't mind this doubletalk and mixed signals if Israel had ever demonstrated the ability to play the game well. As it stands, the country just looks incompetent in both its desire for defense and its desire for peace. -EoZ

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Thursday that the cease-fire forged by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbbas was a 'ticking bomb which will blow up in our faces.' Shalom made the comments hours after an interview with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was published in which Sharon said he is 'very satisfied' with the steps being taken by Abbas to end the violence.

On Wednesday, the Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades threatened to end the new, tenuous cease-fire, after undercover Border Police troops shot dead a Hamas activist and wounded two members of the Brigades in the West Bank city of Qalqilyah.

The killing came hours after Israeli officials hinted at a change in assassination policy, stating that if quiet obtained on the Palestinian side, Israel would respond with quiet as well.

But Shalom, speaking to Army Radio after talks with newly-confirmed U.S. Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice, said 'A cease-fire as such is not a goal.'

'Whoever thinks a halt is the right thing, is mistaken. A cease-fire is a ticking bomb which will blow up in our faces,' Shalom said.

'Therefore, you cannot take a cease-fire as a long-range goal, while they are are still preserving their infrastructure, the extremist organizations can rebuild them and bring about a situation in which at a time they choose they can carry out one terrorist attack or a series of terror attacks, which will bring down this whole process and send it to hell.'